Dwarf Alberta Spruce or Cypress?

TimLock(6)August 12, 2014

I was looking to put two blue dwarf evergreens at the corners of the house - One location would be in a raised bed of mixed perennials, and the other would be in a 4 ft border along the driveway (looking to keep both under 4 ft wide). They would face south in full sun.

I was looking into a Blue Wonder Dwarf Alberta Spruce - I think this is a newer plant and I can't find much info on it, but saw it at the nursery near me. Is it a lot like the normal dwarf Alberta Spruce but just blue?

Another option I'm thinking of is a baby blue or even boulevard cypress.

Just wondering which one would do better and what are some advantages/disadvantages (or maybe I should get one of each?) - Maybe there are other evergreens I'm not even thinking about? I'm in zone 6 but closer to zone 5 (near Niagara Falls).

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

my boulevard.. after 12 years is about 10 feet tall ... and 6 wide ...

all size estimates are at 10 years.. presume double at 20 years ... they are trees.. and never really stop growing ...

the blue glaucas tend to revert to green.. over the years... i find it interesting to watch ... [i wonder how this one is any different than Sanders Blue] .....

would you consider mail order and getting outside of two of the most common plants in the world????

pix of the spots.. would probably get you some very interesting suggestions....

if i were you.. i would shoot for z5 plants ...

ken

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:45AM
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sc77

There are many blue dwarfs, but if you have already decided on those above, I would specifically recommend:

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Baby Blue Ice'
Picea glauca 'Arneson's Blue Variegated'

** 'Baby Blue' and 'Baby Blue Ice' are different. My opinion is that 'Baby Blue Ice' is the superior cultivar, but may be too dwarf for your needs.

They are pretty solid choices assuming you get them from a reputable nursery and not a big box store. I wouldn't go with boulevard, they grow too big for your spot and don't look great with age. Chamaecyparis pisifera can develop sort of a "rust" look, so that would be a potential downside to this species and Blue Picea Glauca tend to revert to green over time.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:21AM
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TimLock(6)

Thanks for the advice- Here's a pic of the front of the house. It would be to the left of the window in the raised bed for one of the plants.

I'm definitely open for other ideas. I buy a lot online but I don't think I would buy plants - you just can't look at them and pick them out ahead of time.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:52PM
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plantkiller_il_5(5)

gotta watch sun exposure on alberta in winter
reflected sun from drive,,,,,,,burn city
ron

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:54PM
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TimLock(6)

Here's a closeup

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:01PM
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TimLock(6)

Here's the spot by the driveway (will replace the rock that's there right now)

Yeah tons of sun and hot in summer (even though its Buffalo). I would think some kind of evergreen would do ok there, it looks so barren in the winter.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:07PM
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TimLock(6)

I'm thinking with the reverting to green and burning issues (I like Ron's "burn city" comment, lol) the dwarf alberta is out. I didn't have luck with them at my old house either, I cut two down because they died in the back from lack of light (they were against the house too).

Any other suggestions? Leaning toward the Baby Blue Cypress (Baby Blue Ice looks a little too small for the locations, but may work well in the backyard for a spot - thanks for the suggestion SC77)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:59AM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Looks like the raised bed is too narrow for any tree faster growing than 'Baby Blue Ice' and even that may not work 10 years down the road. Larger trees would look jammed in there in time. Anything large on the left would be better suited outside the raised bed. The driveway spot by the rock is too close to the house for anything but something very dwarf from what I can see.

tj

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 4:09PM
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plantkiller_il_5(5)

spot is kinda small (by drive)
btw,,ya know,,soil shouldn't touch house brick
ron

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 8:57PM
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TimLock(6)

Pictures are definitely deceiving when it comes to size - I agree the driveway border is very small, but it is 4 feet deep. I should be able to put something in there.

The raised bed is about 8 feet deep- it was handling a privet ok up there from the old owner but they grow so fast and are nothing to look at, especially in winter (not to mention the flowers smell gross), so it was pulled out. On the other side of the raised bed is a full grown Rose of Sharon.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 3:51PM
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